Boat Painting 101: Priming the Hull

In Step 2 of our Boat Painting 101 series, (Watch part 1 here) we have reached the time to prime! The hull is ready for multiple applications of the TotalBoat 2-Part Epoxy Primer which will form a nice, thick but smooth surface onto which we can apply the topcoat. Brendan has prepared the hull perfectly and this next step goes smoothly as he rolls and sprays applications of the epoxy based primer to create the best painting surface possible on the Black Watch 26 hull.

If your hull isn’t fair and properly prepped, you can almost count on your topcoat being difficult and imperfect. A great topside paint job is easier to maintain and repair than many of the other professionally applied spray jobs, such as AwlGrip. Pay close attention to the directions on the can and data sheet for your product. Each paint is different and will have varied application instructions, induction times and prep requirements. Your attention to detail in this important priming step will ensure that your topsides have the best possible base for a killer paint job that will last and look great.

 

James Dodds: 
Drawn to the Form

We catch up with boatbuilding’s artist laureate
Story by Steffan Meyric Hughes / Portrait by Emily Harris
Article courtesy of Classic Boat Magazine

Forget… just for a heartbeat or two… James Dodds’s long career in art. Forget that he is one of the few marine artists to have broken free of the marine niche into the wider art world. And set aside the fact that he is the de facto artist laureate of Britain’s littoral working craft, perhaps even Britain’s leading living marine artist. Instead, shut the door on the present, and hang a sign on it that says… Gone paddlin’.

Well, what else would we do? James has a new toy that he has taught himself to use – a tandem sit-on-top kayak – and he’s dug a channel through the narrow stretch of mud between his studio and the River Colne so he can launch it in situ. The tide’s up, the sun’s out and the river’s surface is a luminous, brown glitter-scape, as we pass a man battening down his Folkboat. Soon, I will have to ask searching questions like “what is your favourite colour?” (indigo) and when I’ve gone, a summer gale will replace me, harassing this gentle spot and its ageing cabin yachts that forever swim against the tide at their moorings. But right now, where else would we rather be than paddling upriver on the last of the flood?

As we move steadily up the Roman River to Fingringhoe Mill, James tells me about the local area. Like every coastal town in the southeast of England, the shipyards have become flats and houses and the fishing fleet has disappeared, bar four stout-looking craft in the tiny town dock. Cook’s Shipyard was the last builder of any consequence and near it, a large, metal engraving on a plinth is the most visible reminder of the town as it used to be. It’s by James of course, and one of those old sheds is now his studio. From his talk and from his long, low paddle strokes, the impression is of a man as comfortable in his environment as he seems to be in his own skin. 

Much has been made over the years over the similarities and differences between James’s subjects and his depictions of them. A four-year shipwright’s apprenticeship in nearby Maldon after leaving school (aged 15) in the early 1970s has given James a profound feel and respect for the craft of the boatbuilder; not to mention a fondness for the sort of stout repartee that is sometimes enjoyed by men who work with their hands… “They called me the artist in residence when I worked at the yard,” he recalls. One can only imagine the joshing James sustained during those years, as he carved lino-cuts of the boats in the yard.

At the end of the four years James, still only 19, went to Colchester School of Art, then the Chelsea School of Art and the Royal College. The art critic and painter William Packer who taught James at Colchester wrote in 2006 “James Dodds is not just a remarkable artist: he has been one from the start. What marked him out was not just his comparative maturity among his fellows, but that he seemed even then to know exactly what he wanted to do. Such predisposition can well be an irritation in a student and a provocation to his teachers, but it proved to be quite the reverse in his case. Far from being narrow or obstructive, least of all arrogant, he was clearly anxious to learn all he could.” (Jamie’s version, with his gentle self-effacing humour, is “people used to tell me I took myself too seriously”.)

For that reason, there has been a great stability to James’s work during his long career (he has sold nearly 300 oil paintings, not to mention countless lino-cuts, wood-cuts and hand-printed books). William Packer’s comment seems to ring true – here is not a person who has invented himself over the years as most of us do, but who knew his mind from the start.

   

As we walk around his studio, James explains the process behind one of his typical large oils. He prepares his canvases the old-fashioned way, by applying two layers of rabbitskin glue (which has to be reconstituted from desiccated crystals), then two coats of white lead primer, which has become almost impossible, and very expensive, to get hold of since the EU banned it. Continue reading

Spring Commissioning with TotalBoat – Part 1: BOAT REPAIR

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The winter was unkind to many of our boats and plans for a tidy and possibly even early? spring commissioning. Around here, snow banks are finally almost a distant memory and any day over 40 degrees feels like a heat wave. So gentlemen and women – start your sanders… time to get down to business and tick off the projects on your spring commissioning  list.

TotalBoat Show is ready to help with the full support of our award winning customer support team and help line. Daily we get accolades from pleased customers raving about how knowledgable and helpful our call center and tech help hotline are. And we work hard to learn about and try every product we can to give you – the customer – the best advice out there for jobs that aren’t always knocked off as easily as the instruction manual might lead you to believe.

Continue reading

Antifouling Companies Struggle with the Loss of Herbicide Irgarol

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Your go-to antifouling paint may be different than it was last season.

As a boat owner, debunking the science of which bottom paint to use can be puzzling. Choosing the right antifouling for your boat will depend on many factors including your location, the current and the water temperature as well as what type of boat you have and how frequently you use it. Success with a particular bottom paint usually equals a loyal brand customer who relies on similar results season after season.

So then, if a main ingredient that was touted as being *key* to the antifouling side of boat bottom paint all of a sudden disappeared from the contents, are we ill fated to depend on our tried and true (maybe even blue!) paint? Enter Irgarol: The algaecide supplied by chemical giant BASF and widely relied upon by most marine paint manufacturers to control “soft growths” like slime and plant growth that has very recently been discontinued as a bottom paint ingredient.

BASF seems to have caught the bottom paint industry off guard with their announcement late last year, and while manufacturers of the Irgarol dependent paint hope that in just 6-9 months it could be in production again, there is no guarantee, and certainly these companies had to act quickly to be ready for bottom paint season with an alternative. There are a number of popular antifouling paints that are being affected by BASF’s discontinuation of Irgarol.

As a distributor of most of the bottom paints listed above, when Jamestown Distributors got word about the Irgarol shortage, we, like many other suppliers, ordered as much stock as possible of these Irgarol formulated paints to help customers seamlessly prepare for spring launching.  Supplies are limited, however we do have these paints in stock and will sell them while inventory lasts. In fact the non-Irgarol replacement paints are also already in stock and for sale by most suppliers, including JD, and we have worked hard on our website to make sure it is clear to customers whether the paint you are buying contains Irgarol or doesn’t.

The moral here: Buyers, be aware of what you are buying.  It may not be apparent to you as the consumer if you are using paint with Irgarol or paint without Irgarol. Read the labels carefully.  The cans look similar, the type in most cases is small and it can be difficult to tell the two formulas apart.

Jamestown Distributors is sharing this information with our customers because our nearly 40 years of experience and expertise with marine coatings has proven that consumers care about the ingredients and performance of their bottom paint.  Our own line of six different TotalBoat bottom paints were all developed without Irgarol and we are obviously glad to stand tall in the industry with our own proven growth-fighting bottom paints, without the distraction of reformulating our product line.

So be informed, read your paint can labels, check the product descriptions at JamestownDistributors.com and monitor your paint’s performance this season. Additionally, we invite you to come aboard the JD Bottom Paint Survey, and be a part of our own research & development of antifouling paints and their performance specific to your boat’s location.  The more we know, the more YOU know!

Happy Antifouling! Let’s go boating!

What’s your story? – Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson

Jim Anderson sent us some photos of this gorgeous antique wooden boat for our photo contest, but we just had to show everyone his restoration of her on here! The photos above show this 34′ Marblehead Deck Cruiser from 1938 while she was being sanded, stripped, and repainted. She looks great back in the water!